Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Friday granted three weeks to the state government for formulation of Master Plan Srinagar. The direction was passed after the state counsel informed the court that Master Plan Srinagar was under consideration before the State Administrative Council (SAC). The state counsel sought time from the court to file a report in this regard.
A PIL (public-interest litigation) pertaining to demolition/ sealing of illegal structures in Srinagar city came up for hearing today before the division bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Sanjeev Kumar. The judges remarked to state authorities that a Master Plan for Srinagar city was needed badly and there should be no more delay in its formulation.
Under an earlier Master Plan, municipal authorities had sealed buildings and malls that had come up in violation of building laws and the Master Plan, but the sealing was put on hold after the then National Conference-Congress coalition government came up with legislation under the name of Jammu and Kashmir Civil Laws (Special Provisions) Act 2014 for protection of these structures.
The Act (moratorium) said that no building or structure raised in violation of Master Plan shall be demolished or sealed till finalisation of policy to deal with unauthorised construction.
The said Act came into force on March 2014 and was enforceable up to March 2015. Thereafter, a Bill was introduced in the state assembly seeking extension of moratorium on action against unauthorised constructions till December 2015, so as to complete revision of the Master Plan.
The PIL was filed on account of public concern about large-scale violations of various Acts and Building Laws prepared for planned development of Srinagar city. It was stated in the petition that a number of buildings and commercial complexes had come up in violation of these Acts and laws with tacit approval of authorities like SMC, LAWDA and SDA.